SP&T News

Sonitrol celebrates 50 years of alarm verification

Sonitrol celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Since pioneering verified surveillance alarms with its first franchise in 1964, Sonitrol has dedicated the past half century to refining and updating its unique impact-activated audio verification technology to deliver 100% volumetric coverage of businesses, schools and homes — all monitored in real-time.

February 9, 2014  By Staff

Founded to maximize the efficiency of local law enforcement agencies’ time and resources, Sonitrol’s alarm verification technology and protocols have built an unrivaled reputation with police departments throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In 1964, Robert Baxter and Al Cronk, based in Daleville, IN, co-founded Sonitrol when they began to use technology from Baxter’s pest extermination company to detect larger intruders — humans. The acoustic device used to pinpoint the exact locations of termites in walls was adapted and modified to become an early model of the modern-day impact-activated audio alarm verification technology available through over 125 Sonitrol Dealers around the United States, Canada and the UK.        

Cronk, a 17-year veteran of the Anderson Police Department in Indiana, recognized the benefit of Sonitrol’s audio verification technology, and how it could be applied to better inform local police about the real-time details of an activated alarm. This visionary breakthrough in technology, far ahead of its time, established the standard of alarm verification throughout the security industry.

“When Al Cronk walked into Bob Baxter’s office 50 years ago, and told him that, as a police officer, he had never actually caught a burglar in-progress because of an alarm system — but he had an idea of how to do it — Sonitrol and verified security alarms were born,” said Bill McNabney, Founder, Sonitrol U and Sonitrol’s first employee. “That was the inception of verified alarms. They were created by a police officer—for police officers.”          


Since 1977, when Sonitrol began recording apprehension statistics, the verified electronic security company has assisted local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in over 170,000 apprehensions — a rate of one apprehension every 111 minutes.

“As we celebrate 50 years, Sonitrol honors its rich history as the first company to produce verified intruder alarms,” said Bruce Winner, Director of the Sonitrol Brand. “Today, with advancements in technology and an unwavering commitment to the needs of our customers, Sonitrol provides businesses and facilities with real-time monitoring and operator intelligence that leads to quicker, safer and more effective responses from local law enforcement.”

In the past decade, the United States Department of Justice reported that up to 98% of all burglar alarm activations are false alarms, and that in just one year, approximately $1.7 billion of taxpayers’ money was wasted on funding law enforcement responses to these false alarms. These statistics, which suggest extreme inefficiencies resulting from traditional, non-verified security systems, have increasingly prompted “Verified Response Protocols” to be introduced by municipalities throughout the United States.

“Our technology could never have achieved the success that it has in this highly competitive industry without the expertise and courageous response of the local law enforcement to arrive onsite to confront and apprehend individuals,” states Winner.

Print this page


Stories continue below